Friday, February 18, 2011

Taking risks

I have been thinking lately, about life. And how sometimes it doesn’t turn out how you expect. When I was little I always thought that I would grow up to be a free spirit. I would travel and play piano and never have a fixed abode. Which is odd because I have never been all that much of a free spirit. I used to worry all the time. About everything. So maybe it was more of a projection of who I wanted to be, rather than who I was likely to be? Anyway.

When I got sick, all I wanted was normality. And security. Taking chances, falling in love and making my dreams come true never factored into it. I didn’t want to try new things. Ever. And I stuck to that for quite a few years. It wasn’t until the other day that I realised I am so different to that now.

My sister said something that got me thinking. We were driving to Sydney and following her GPS. Though it was directing me in the opposite direction to the way I know to go, I trust technology much more than my own sense of direction and followed it. After 1 hour of driving down dirt-roads covered in pot holes and weaving in circles, (which will lead to another blog post shortly..dirt roads plus old cars=disaster) rather than the neat straight highway we had come to know and love, I stopped the car and demanded she look on the GPS to see if we were actually headed towards Sydney or if we were going to end up in a country town instead.

She responded by telling me I worry too much, and don’t take enough risks.

And you know what? I realised that I have become someone that takes risks all the time. Almost all of us are. To participate in life to the fullest we need to. We may not be free-spirits travelling where the wind takes us, but if we are following our dreams, even if those dreams may not be exciting to anyone other than ourselves, then we are taking risks.

I may not take risks by driving along dirt-roads without questioning whether or not we are going the right way. (it turns out that the GPS was set to ‘un-paved roads’). I may not run away to join the circus, or audition for movies, or start a jazz band, or drop out of uni to travel the world. Because none of those things are my dreams. They wouldn’t be risks that would pay off, or get me any closer to the life that I want to live.

I took a risk when I fell in love, when I moved out, when I dropped out of my degree to pursue a course that I knew I would either love or hate, when I got married, when I took all of those little chances every single day that may not seem like anything to anyone else, but mean a lot to me.

We are taking risks all the time. Just by getting up in the morning, heading out the door and making the most of what we were given.

Granted, I could take a few more risks. What she said did make me evaluate my life. And look at what I really want. I have a little life list going actually, all of those risks that I was still a little bit afraid of are now in pen in a little journal. And I am ticking them off one by one.

I will share one in the hopes it will inspire me to follow through (flaky is my middle name): To save up and travel all around Europe at the end of the year. And while Joel will be joining me for part of it, one dream of mine that I have always been too scared to make happen is to travel solo. And so travel solo I will. Hopefully....I am an awful saver. Absolutely awful. BUT that’s really just a cop-out, isn’t it. I am physically capable and financially capable of it.

So, in conclusion, let’s all raise a glass to risks. And to ourselves. For being the amazingly little risk-takers that we are.



becky said...

How do you do this? How do you, in every post, write exactly what I'm thinking/feeling/needing to express. I do not consider myself much of an adventurous person but Arnold calls me one of the bravest and most courageous people he knows---whilst I have never totally fathomed why, I guess he is getting at the fact that I do take risks. They might not be the risks other people take but because I am so scared all the time, they are greater and more pronounced because I am taking them.

Travelling, by the way, is one of them. I am something of a nightmare traveller but I want so much to see the world. Arnold is off across Europe later on in the year and I am facing the notion that I will be without him for a month - and my God that feels the scariest thing - and I wish so much that I was braver---that I could do it, too. (Although the things stopping me are also partly to do with finances and circumstance---like exams and work). I guess this is why this post rung so true with me and I guess I feel like I appreciate your courage that much more.

Here's to victories---maybe not to the rest of the world, all the time, but to us. And that is all that ever matters.

P.S -- You said you got sick. I hope it wasn't/isn't serious? :(

P.P.S -- Sorry for the incredibly long comment!

ellecupcake said...

I loved this post. I feel like that all of the time. Sometimes it's really hard to get out of my comfort zone, but usually always worth it.

I was so afraid to travel alone! I've done it twice now. I always had my now exhusband to do everything for me. To talk to everyone to make the plans to navagate.. :) I didn't know if I could do it. But.. I did it! And it was so freeing. I can do things alone. Wow. Such an eye-opener. Good luck! I am so happy for you!

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

I absolutely completely agree with you. I think we do need to recognize all those little risks we take every day, while at the same time, making sure we take big ones as well. My next big risk? Leaving my PhD program, moving back to NYC, and following my dreams -- all of them. I'm a bit scared but I'm excited too.

Krystal said...

I loved this post, definitely echoes some thoughts I have. If you need a bed in switzerland one is here!

Bonnie said...

You wrote what I had been thinking for a few days now. I never feel like a risk-taker because I'm always so cautious. (Some people say paranoid.) You make me feel like I actually do take risks. So thanks for that. :)
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Melissa: Write it in Lipstick said...

You took the right risks and that's what counts.

Write it in lipstick

kara lynn said...

i love your writing because so often it reminds me of myself or something i have been writing. we just must think a lot alike!

and thank you always for your sweet comments always on my blog! especially the last one :) i so appreciate it

Katie Anderson said...

Like you say - risks can be taken in all sorts of different ways. Some people take risks in giving up their job to move somewhere exotic - some in putting their trust in a new relationship. All very perceptive!

Anait said...

This is a great post. It reminds me of a quote I read once...

“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming ... WOW! What a ride!”

Googlover/keishua said...

What a manifesta. I love it. What you say about us taking a risk everyday to live is so true. We don't realize how brave we are. What really got me thinking about risk was getting a writing prompt about where I want to travel. I could not think of anywhere but I really knew I wanted to see so much of the world. Actually, there are so many things I want to do. Simple things even that are risky to how I perceive myself. However, I am cheered to think of all the risk I've done in the meantime. Oh, and I completely don't trust my GPS. She has a mind of her own(that thing).

Tiq said...

I love this Kaylia. This is beautifully written. As if you are a mind reader, reading my mind. Great post !

Cheers !!